Unique Interview Questions (and Answers)

Why Prepare for Unique Interview Questions?

The whole goal of a job interview is to get an idea of who the candidate is beyond the resume. Asking unusual questions is one way to gauge the thought process of the candidate. Thoughtful responses to challenging questions will help an employer differentiate between ideal candidates and mediocre ones.

Among other things, an employer can learn:

  • How the candidate deals with mild stress
  • How are they at creative problem solving & logical thinking
  • If they are willing to say “I don’t know.”
  • Their level of professionalism

How to Prepare for Unique Interview Questions

Prepare for Common Questions First

Most job interviews begin with softball questions designed to ease jittery nerves. When answering these, remember that common questions don’t require common answers. Since it’s likely you’ll be asked one or more of these questions, take some time to plan thoughtful answers to a few of these.

Common interview questions may include:

  • Tell me a little about yourself.
  • What makes you a good candidate?
  • How did you hear about us (or the opening)?
  • What do you like to do outside of work?
  • What’s your greatest strength/weakness?

Example Question/Answer:

INTERVIEWER: What is your greatest strength & greatest weakness?

CANDIDATE: My weakness is that I misplace things. My strength is that I’ve learned how to quickly find lost things.

Practice Logical Thinking & Anecdotal Responses

Many challenging interview questions will pertain to specific instances at previous jobs (or life in general) & how you handled those situations in the past. These are anecdotal questions. Since it’s not possible to prepare for all possible scenarios, the best approach is to practice answering a variety of these questions in a logical, methodical way. LinkedIn has a fair number of these questions at interviewquestiongenerator.com that you can use to test yourself.

Here are a few tips to answering anecdotal questions:

  1. Keep answers short.
  2. Try to use examples from the recent past. Your memory is likely better if the incident was more recent.
  3. Make sure the examples you use are revealing of specific traits.

Icebreaker Questions

Often used at the beginning or end of an interview, icebreaker questions are used to relieve tension in an interview setting. While these might be the silliest questions you are ever asked in an interview, keep in mind that you’re still being evaluated. Don’t make the mistake of disregarding these questions, as your responses could be sincerely important to the interviewer.

Uncommon icebreaker questions: 

  • Name ten uses for a stapler other than stapling.
  • Would you rather ride a giraffe to work or an elephant?
  • Would you rather fight a hundred duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?
  • How would you transport 10,000 sharks safely across the country in the most efficient, safe and cost effective way possible?
  • Why do you think tennis balls are fuzzy or furry?
  • If you were interviewing me for my job, what would you want to know about me?

What NOT to Ask (or Answer)

While asking unique & challenging questions can be beneficial for an employer, it’s also imperative that these questions don’t cross any legal or personal lines. An employer should never make the candidate uncomfortable, ask questions that may be discriminatory, or refer to “protected class information” (gender, race, age, ethnicity, etc.) If you feel you’ve been asked inappropriate questions, contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

How to Get a Job Interview

In order to secure the job interview in the first place, you likely need a degree. To get the degree, you need textbooks. Studies show that students who have their required textbooks do better in school. 

Check out eCampus.com today & save up to 90% on used, new, or rented textbooks & etextbooks! Also, be sure to connect with us @ecampusdotcom on Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook for more resources, tips, and some great giveaways!